Proven gains in efficiency, data quality and safety

The Portable Remotely Operated Drill (PROD) is the world’s most versatile seabed drilling and geotechnical testing system. The first of its kind in operation, PROD has been proven over more than a decade on almost 30 successful projects worldwide, including deployments in ultra-deepwater and the most challenging seabed conditions. No other sea-bed drilling system comes close to matching PROD’s proven track record for delivering successful project outcomes and industry-leading productivity.

Our experience in deploying PROD on vessels of opportunity also enables us to operate with maximum flexibility and cost-effectiveness to meet our clients’ needs and development schedules.

Most importantly, PROD offers proven gains in efficiency, data quality and safety.


PROD’s ability to switch between piston sampling, rotary coring and in situ testing maximizes productivity and provides certainty in achieving your data objectives, on time and on budget. As a result, PROD has consistently proven to be the most productive system for gathering geotechnical data.

In particular, no other system is able to offer the productivity of PROD in deepwater and challenging conditions, including extreme seabed slopes beyond 20 degrees.

PROD offers unmatched productivity in deepwater, soft-soil environments

Client Project environment Result
Woodside Energy Water depths of 20–700m, Browse field, Western Australia
  • Average 120m per operating day at deepwater locations
  • Record productivity of 223m in 24 hours at 600m
Origin Energy Difficult seabed lithologies in Bass Strait, Australia
  • Average 95m per day
  • More than 1,300m of drilling and sampling completed in just over 14 operating days
Statoil Water depths of 1,320m in the Norwegian Sea
  • Average 75m per operating day
Total Water depths of up to 1,400m off Angola
  • Average 93m per operating day
  • Maximum of 137m per day
  • Borings completed at 66 sites in 15 days


Completely isolated from vessel movements on the seabed, PROD provides sample and data quality that is significantly superior to ship‐mounted systems that rely on heave compensation. 

Benthic’s patented Hydraulically Tethered Piston sampler’s been proven to recover amongst the highest quality samples in unconsolidated geologies available on the market. Meanwhile, our proprietary Thin Kerf Rotary coring system has time and again proven its effectiveness in achieving excellent core recovery in even the most challenging consolidated geologies.  

Because PROD combines drilling with penetrometer testing, it provides a superior dataset to single stroke, seafloor frames that often fail to exceed 20m penetration, particularly where there are hard obstructions or sandy soils.

And unlike less sophisticated seabed systems, PROD supports its own weight away from the sampling areas in even the softest soils, allowing sampling and in situ testing from the mud line.

The result is an optimal data set tailored to your project requirements.


We have designed PROD to minimize HSE risk, helping us to achieve the industry’s lowest lost time injury (LTI) rates. Operated remotely from the safety of a control cabin, PROD is inherently safer than a drill ship, especially in difficult weather conditions.  

PROD Specifications

General specifications
Maximum operating water depth 2,000m 3,000m
Maximum sampling penetration depth >125m >125m
Maximum casing depth 40m 35m
Casing size B 88mm
Hard rock sampling
Sample diameter 44mm 72mm
Run length 2.70m per barrel 2.75m per barrel
Rotary coring power 100 hp 130 hp
Soft sediment sampling
Core diamter 44mm 75mm
Core length 2.75m per barrel 2.75m per barrel
Maximum push thrust More than 6t More than 8t

In-situ testing tools

Specifications Data output
Piezocone penetrometer
  • Diameter: 36mm
  • Length: 3m, followed by drill rods
  • Cone tip resistance
  • Sleeve friction
  • Pore water pressure
Ball penetrometer
  • 60mm diameter steel sphere attached to a 200mm long x 20mm diameter push rod
  • Ball tip resistance
  • Pore water pressure
Downhole seismic cone penetrometer
  • 2 triaxial geophones
  • 2 100 joule hammers (seismic source)
  • Sensitivity: 290mV/in/sec
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Compression wave velocity
  • Small strain shear modulus 
Hydrocarbon Analysis System
  • Methane sensitivity: 300nmol/l - 1mmol/l
  • Methane concentration
  • Gas origin
  • Depth of intercept